Painted Hills – Prineville, Oregon

I may have already mentioned this, but my husband and I are horribly lazy campers. We have both gotten to the age where we love being outdoors, and we also love sleeping in beds and having a flush toilet.

So when our good friends invited us to Prineville Oregon to go camping and hike the painted hills we groaned a bit. And then they told us there were camping cabins at the Prineville State Park. There may have been a cartoon shaped hole in the office door as we dashed to the computer to book our trip.

**Second Painted Hills site as you drive into the park**

We drove down after work, so we were both pretty tired and very thankful when we rolled into campground to a well lit cabin. The heat was running, the cabin was clean and there was a full sized bed, with a bathroom and a shower. Now mind you it is a foam mattress covered in industrial rubber, but it was a bed and we were so thrilled we didn’t have to try to set up a tent in the dark.
The next morning we woke up to one of the most glorious views I have ever experienced.

**Drinking coffee while looking at this doesn’t suck**

We made coffee for the others, left our door slightly ajar and hiked along the ridge of the reservoir until the others we ready to go.  We drove out to the Painted Hills State Park just before noon, knowing it would be a little over an hour. We really didn’t know what to expect, other than we all thought it would be an actual hike. Turns out it is more like a couple view points that you walk up to. We did all the “hikes” in the park in a couple hours, sat and chatted for a bit and then drove back for dinner.

**First Painted Hills site as you drive into the park and the most photographed**

Since we were there for Halloween we had made sure one of us had rented the deluxe cabin with a dvd player and tv. I brought a bunch of horror movies, and we all sat around the rest of the evening watching movies, eating and chatting. It was actually one of the better Halloweens I have had.
The next day we again hiked part of the ridge, and then down into the basin of the reservoir. We all had breakfast together and then drove back home.

**I was honestly very sad to leave this little cabin**

We had planned on hiking Smith Rock on the way back since the Painted Hills hikes while beautiful weren’t very strenuous but we hit an accident on the way out of Prineville and killed a bunch of our time. Instead we just drove back, enjoying the high desert views, and the full view of the cascade range before making our way back into the Willamette Valley.

Questions:

Have you ever been down to Prineville or Painted Hills State Parks? Are there other things in the area that you would suggest seeing?